The Dollar Crisis: What Next?


  • Paul M. Sweezy
  • Harry Magdoff



Political Economy


The downfall of the Bretton Woods monetary system imposed on the capitalist world by the United States at the end of the Second World War is now complete. This system was originally based on the equivalence of gold and dollars (at $35 an ounce) as universal money to be held by member countries as monetary reserves and used as means of international payment. As long as other countries were willing to accept this basis, which was the case for more than two decades, the United States was in effect provided with a free gold mine. Golden dollars rolled off the printing press and took their place on a par with the yellow metal sweated out of the South African mines by superexploited black workers. It was a wonderful system while it lasted. Just how wonderful was graphically described to a Congressional Committee in 1965 by Robert Roosa who was at the time Undersecretary of the Treasury for Monetary Affairs.





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